Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, Sam Neill, Jon Favreau, Austin Nichols
Director: Richard Loncraine
Some people believe that there is a winner inside all of us, Peter Colt is not one of these people. He is a professional tennis player once ranked number 11 in the world but is now a lacklustre 119, with only a dead end job teaching old ladies how to play tennis to look forward to. But before all this he still has to play at his final Wimbledon where he intends to announce his retirement.
A mistaken room number at his hotel leads to a chance encounter with a hot upcoming American female tennis player Lizzie Bradbury that ends up as a no strings attached affair between the two. Surprisingly Peter’s game improves and he starts winning every game he plays. As the pressure mounts at the tournament Lizzie’s father (Sam Neil) asks Peter to stop seeing Lizzie, as he is convinced that Peter is more than just a casual fling to her, and that if that is the case then it could seriously mess up her game. Lizzie much to Peter’s disappointment agrees with her father, as she is determined to win and is willing to sacrifice almost everything to do it. Peter must now try to carry on playing as well as he has done even without the much needed inspiration that Lizzie gave him.
Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst sizzle in this happy, fresh romcom. They both bring believable physical prowess as professional athletes and their chemistry together makes the romance seem very plausible. Bettany handles the lack of confidence that his character has very well, mixing it with charm and a self-deprecating humorous manner. Dunst gives her character energy and drive with a very vulnerable undertone.
Director Richard Loncraine delivers what it says on the can: Wimbledon in all its splendour, light drama and huge doses of romance lushed out with comedy.
All in all this is an excellent, unpretentious and thoroughly entertaining movie that should make you warm all over!